There is a busy autumn and winter schedule ahead for the Reading Club in Rome, according to its founder Louise Vinciguerra. Since the group began meeting on Wednesday nights in late 2010, its membership has grown to 80 people. "Each time we meet there are about 3-4 regulars and usually around 2-3 new people – Vinciguerra told Wanted in Rome – there is always an average of 6-8 people which is a great number for a flowing discussion."
There will be a variety of texts to look forward to over coming months, ranging from great speeches, essays on human rights, literary essays, poems, short stories, fiction, and excerpts from books and letters. Some of the planned reads include work by writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Michel de Montaigne, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood, Flannery O'Connor and Anton Chekov.
Vinciguerra says she is also trying out "suggested reads". "Once members get a feel for what the group is like, they send me suggestions, I post it when it fits into the schedule, I collect some discussion questions for the piece and we try something new!"
The club is inspired by Vienna’s Psychological Wednesday Society where Sigmund Freud assembled his learned contemporaries every Wednesday to discuss the "oh-so-pressing" issues of life. The selected piece, always in English, is emailed to members who then collectively choose a new rendezvous.
The meeting centres around a series of questions on the text’s theme. The pieces are rarely more than 10 pages long, and are usually extracts from novels or plays, poems or essays. All newcomers are welcome and the club requires that members read the piece beforehand, communicate if they are attending, and bring an open mind.
The club's 44th meeting – dedicated to a classic macabre fiction piece called "Skin" by celebrated fiction author Roald Dahl – takes place at Il Libro Divino, Via degli Zingari 49 (Monti) at 19.00 on 17 October. For more details see the club's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ReadingClubInRome